June 18, 2014
The lights go down and a hush takes over the theater. The screen lights up and the movie starts. And I am in a happy place. I love the movies, I always have. I love the drama, the laughs, the tears, the romance, the thrills, the chills—I’m not picky, I love them all.
I have no idea how many movies I’ve seen, but they’ve been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Like probably every other American, Disney movies entranced me as a child. I’ve stood in massive lines for hours to see films like “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter.” Movies like “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club” made the teenage years more bearable. “Jaws” kept me out of the water and “Psycho” made me afraid to shower.
I’ve been completely caught up in dramas like “The Shawshank Redemption,” and “Goodfellas,” and completely intrigued by “The Usual Suspects,” and “Memento.” I’ve been absolutely terrified by “Silence of the Lambs” and “The Shining” and laughed at the absurdness of “This is Spinal Tap” and “Bridesmaids.” “Toy Story” and “Lion King” let me be a kid all over again.
I’ve cried tears during “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan” and left the theater unable to shake the melancholy feeling for days. Documentaries like “Hoop Dreams” and “The Thin Blue Line” have opened my eyes to things I knew nothing about.
Film—it’s a pretty powerful medium and I’ve always been a little bit in awe of the people behind the cameras that make it happen. It just seems like making magic to me. Orson Welles once said, “A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.”
Luckily for me, since I started working at MSU, I’ve been able to work with some pretty incredible “poets.” Our team of producers, directors and videographers impress me pretty much every day. Last year I got to join the crew as part of the Spartans Will.360 project and after seeing all the work that goes into just a 2-minute piece, I was even more impressed. Their talent is absolutely outstanding and they also happen to be a pretty great group of guys.
I was thrilled this past weekend when I learned that they had received Emmy awards from the Michigan Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Four outstanding film projects from my friends and colleagues received awards (as well as two others from MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences). Read more about the awards and check out the videos in the MSUToday story, “MSU staff and faculty win Michigan Emmy Awards.”
Michigan State is a great place to learn the skills needed to be a filmmaker. Keenan Wetzel, a senior in MSU’s College of Arts and Letters studying media and information, and a walk-on Spartan basketball player, is currently working on his first film project. He’s teamed up with fellow student, Nick Stachurski who founded Eightfold Marketing and Creative and former Michigan State basketball star Delvon Roe to make the short film “The Cager.”
Check out his STUDENT VIEW: Filming ‘The Cager’ to learn more about the project.
Wetzel’s film is about a former college star who injuries himself and has to adjust to life without basketball. Fans will remember that is exactly what happened to Roe, who is now acting rather than making jump shots.
MSU’s Jeffrey Kovan, assistant professor of radiology, director of Sports Medicine and Performance, and courtside doc to the Spartans, has often been the man who has to break the news to an athlete that an injury is just too severe to play through. Watch his Faculty Conversation to learn more about his role on campus.
Michigan State is filled with experts who work every day to keep people healthy. Mildred Horodynski is a professor in the College of Nursing who is dedicated to reducing childhood obesity. She recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand her research efforts. Read her FACULTY VOICE: Passion + Prevention, to learn about why this area is her passion.
Every day I come to campus, I learn about someone like Wetzel or Kovan or Horodynski or about some really cool project. It seems that there are endless stories that could be told about Spartans and every one seems worthy of an Emmy or an Oscar. Spartans all over are taking leading roles in finding cures, making discoveries, protecting the planet, changing lives and making this world a better place.
Above photo: Alberto Moreno (in white) and Kevin Epling (in green hat), both from MSU Communications and Brand Strategy, film children as they get their lunch at school in Naitolia, Tanzania in February, 2014. Photo by Lisa Mulcrone